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NJ Devils promote from within, name John MacLean head coach

Jun 17, 2010, 12:00 PM EDT

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After mulling over a few other coaching options, the New Jersey Devils announced that they decided to hire from within and therefore promoted Lowell Devils coach John MacLean to the big club’s head job.

MacLean (not to be confused with Bruce Willis’ star-making “Die Hard” character John McClane) has been a fixture in the franchise for nearly 30 years. He was the Devils first choice in the 1983 draft, scored an overtime goal that sent to the team to the playoffs for the first time ever and holds various individual franchise records (including the all-time lead for goals and playoff points). The Devils forward also was an alternate captain when the team won its first Stanley Cup in 1995.

He was a Devils assistant coach from the 2002-03 season through 2008-09 campaign before taking over as the Lowell Devils head coach last season. MacLean ended up with a 39-31 record in his one year behind an AHL bench. Here’s how MacLean described his coaching style.

“I’m whatever is called for that day,” MacLean said last season when asked about his coaching style. “If it calls for teaching and being nice or if it calls for breaking a stick and yelling and screaming, then that’s what it calls for that day.”

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